Monday, May 5, 2008

DIY: Depth Of Field Calculator

Since I did not had much time during the weekend to write these week Monday Tip I decided to leave you with a Depth Of Field Calculator and Hyperfocal Distance for your camera.

You can use it on your computer or you can print it out and use it on a lens cap, your Ipod, Iphone or even in your Palm OS.

Take a look ate the following link, download it and see how you can make yourself a very nice one.
Depth of field scales are elegant tools for quickly and easily calculating depth of field and hyperfocal distance. Unfortunately, lens manufacturers don't engrave scales on lenses anymore. Now you can use DOFMaster to make your own scales.

Use DOFMaster to make depth of field scales for use in the field. Just set the focus distance, and read the near and far focus distances. Easily calculate the hyperfocal distance for your lens at any aperture.

Customize the scale for your needs:

* Use feet or meters on the distance scale
* Stretch or shrink the distance scale as necessary for focal lengths from 3 mm to 1200 mm
* Print a scale for any format, digital to 8x10
* Put as many as 4 focal lengths on a scale
* Select apertures as small as f/64
* Choose any circle of confusion

Instructions for calculator assembly are included in the DOFMaster help file.

You may be asking what is Depth of Field?

Depth of field is the distance between the nearest and furthest parts of a subject that can be imaged with acceptably sharp detail at one focus setting of the lens.

When an object is in focus, everything from a certain distance in front of the object to a certain distance behind the object will also be in reasonably sharp focus. This distance from front to back that will be in reasonably sharp focus is called the depth of field.

Depth of field refers to the section of a photograph that appears to be in sharp focus.

And what is the Hyperfocal Distance?
The hyperfocal distance is the point you focus on when you want to maximize the amount of depth of field in a photograph.

Hyperfocal distance is the point of focus at which subjects from half that distance to infinity are in focus.

With this tool it will help you calculate this on the field.

Depth of Field calculator glued to a lens cap.



Anonymous said...

I've been using a J2ME DOF calculator for my phone for a month now. It should work in most phones that support Java and can be found at

My Camera World said...

Good article. And I find having the correct near and far distances for determining DOF really helps to make sure you have your subject fully covered.

I bought a used Palm Pilot so I could use the free DOF on their site. It woks great on the Palm.

I then bought $10 a solar/moon calculator (SOL II) to better figure out the angle of sun Horizon and on compass settings. Great for when you plan to go somewhere new and you need to know where the sun rises and sets and the same for the moon.

Niels Henriksen

tschnitzlein said...

Thanks for posting this tip!

It may also be worth mentioning that this website also offers a dofmaster program for installation on Palm OS PDAs. I've been using this program on my Palm Tungsten T3, and it is extremely useful.

BTW, the software is freeware.

António Correia said...

I have built one of these "round charts" some time ago.
The best solution is in fact, to use a Ipod or similar to calculate the correct DoF.
However, like yourself, I have always been sorry that "lens manufacturers don't engrave scales on lenses anymore" ...
Have a look at my "round calculator", if you please, at:

Colin said...

It would be easier to make smaller discs if the aperture disc text could either have a variable font option, or if the numbers were orientated radially from the centre of the ring..